He noted that China “is ready to cooperate with Russia to implement the spirit of high-level strategic cooperation between the two countries, safeguard the common interests of both sides, and promote the development of the international system in a more just and rational direction.” Yang, a close diplomatic advisor to President Xi, noted that the two sides “strongly support each other on issues related to mutual core interests and carry out close coordination on international and multilateral occasions.”
Denisov, also in a report of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that “under the personal guidance of the two heads of state, Russian-Chinese relations have achieved fruitful results, and bilateral relations have reached the highest level in history, and entered a new era.” Noting that he has personally witnessed China’s achievements in economic and social development over the past 20 years, Denisov said he wants to continue contributing to the development of relations, albeit leaving after leading the Russian diplomatic headquarters since 2013.
On February 4, a few weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Xi and Putin announced an “unlimited” partnership in Beijing as a counterweight to Western hegemony under the leadership of the United States. Russia has been trying to strengthen relations with Asian countries, especially China, since it was subjected to Western sanctions for its aggression against Kyiv. So far, Beijing has not condemned Moscow’s moves by providing diplomatic cover to the Kremlin, while it has not flagrantly violated sanctions. Putin and Xi will meet in Uzbekistan this week, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders’ summit. Last week, Li Zhanshu, the third-ranking Chinese Communist Party leader and chairman of the National People’s Assembly (the legislative branch of parliament), became the highest-ranking politician to travel to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. The presence of Li, who praised the “unprecedented level” of bilateral trust and cooperation, carried more weight as he is believed to be the person who brought Xi and Putin closer.
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